A little over a month ago, I went with a friend of mine to eat out, along with some of his friends. One of his friends had brought her boyfriend, who didn’t know anyone extensively at the table. As a result, aside from a casual greeting, he and I weren’t talking to each other much, despite me sitting directly across the table from him. At one point, the girl whose boyfriend I was sitting across from looked at me and asked how my job at Gaming Precision, the video game journalism website I write and manage for, was going. I responded, telling her it was going well and that I enjoyed my work. She then told me that her boyfriend was a big Call of Duty fan and that we should have a lot to talk about. I told her that I actually didn’t play any of the Call of Duty games very much, that I had played them but I wasn’t a big fan of them. She gave me a puzzled look, and asked, “Oh, that’s not you then?” As if gamers consisted solely of those who play Call of Duty. I told her that I liked to play action-adventure titles like Batman Arkham Asylum and fighting games like Injustice: Gods Among Us. I also told her that as a writer and manager for a video game website, I played a variety of games, including Call of Duty, but that games like that were not my preference. This then turned into a conversation explaining what Injustice: Gods Among Us is because it’s not like the title is going to tell you.
However, I still thought about how she thought that if you are a gamer, you play Call of Duty. When I think of what mainstream culture thinks of video gamers, my immediate thought is a guy who lives in his parents’ basement, has little to no social skills, and has bad hygiene habits. However, it seems that the new stereotype is if you are a gamer, it’s assumed you play Call of Duty. The Call of Duty series is very polarizing in the video game community, though personally I can’t fault Call of Duty too much because I think they’re well made games that are not made for me.
That said, I don’t know what to think of Call of Duty being the prime example of what gamers are. On one end, I don’t like it because it doesn’t represent what being a gamer means to me and I don’t know if it accurately represents gaming culture as a whole. On the other hand, it is the most successful franchise in gaming right now and the industry is mostly comprised of shooters like Call of Duty. I guess from that point of view, it’s not a good representation of me and maybe of the average gamer but it does represent the industry well.
Well what do you think? Does Call of Duty represent gamers and / or the industry well, for better or worse? Do you have a story of when assumptions of your hobby were made on you? Comment below and let me know.